Quality of life changes AKA Desalting Evolve AKA Player retention


#1

So it’s no secret that I have a love/hate relationship with evolve these days. I absolutely adore the concept and what the game was and could be, but when I play these days I get so bloody frustrated that my GF has to ask me on stream to stop playing and play something else. I don’t believe I am alone in this, especially judging by the player retention we keep seeing on the steam charts.
There is a cycle that keeps going on:
New content/patch is released => people come back to try => people leave again after getting frustrated
The most important thing to me there isn’t even that they are leaving, it’s they they keep coming back.

I tend to be one of those people, so I’m sure I don’t just speak for myself when I say I want to love this game and I don’t want to keep rage quitting. Inspired from some of my talks with people involved in the game, as well as other peoples posts like this thread ( https://talk.turtlerockstudios.com/t/small-unnecessary-changes-that-would-still-be-nice/ ) by @TheUnrustled, I’d like to compile and discuss possible ‘quality of life’ changes that could feasibly be added to the game, as well as things that cause unneeded frustrations and might require a second look in order to reduce player’s levels of frustration and promote player retention.

Again, while some suggestions hinge on changing abilities, it’s not specifically to say they are OP… Just frustrating… So they may warrant a nerf in one aspect yet a buff in another in order to reduce frustration levels without nerfing the character. The goal isn’t balance in this thread, it’s minimizing player frustration while not impeding their enjoyment.

I’d like to start of with some of my own (double posted just so they aren’t “more important than others”), to be discussed, as well as open the floor to other suggestions which we can discuss. Hopefully in the end the developers can find some utility out of this feedback.


#2

This thread was a load of understanding for me. I completely agree.

I WANT to love this game. Concept is friggin amazing. But the bugs… I mean… Please fix them!


#3

They’re always working to fix them. I hate when people act like they’re just sitting on their butts doing nothing.


#4

Better feedback on monster abilities:
Salty reason: Game shows ability hitting certain area, you use ability, hit a branch and don’t end up where it indicated. Mucho frustration for a monster with limited abilities and long cooldowns.
Potential fix:
If I’m not mistaken, most of the abilities use very rudimentary projections as to where they will land/hit. I’d love to see a much more accurate projection of the ability simply calculating the path with current variable and using mocked collision detection to much more accurately give feedback on the abilities. Furthermore you could try the same thing with abilities like behemoth rock wall, where the code mock casts for the projection and the highlight of the floor shows only pieces that WOULD spawn there. Not sure how feasible these suggestions are, but it’s definitely a source of salt.

** More attention to frustration vs satisfaction **
Salty reason: Some abilities are complete DICKS to the other team. Meanwhile, they actually confer little satisfaction to the hunter team. If someone creates that much frustration and little satisfaction, you’re doing your game a disservice.
Potential fix:
Keep this in mind when creating new abilities. Try to fix other abilities around this.
A monster constantly getting blocked by hanks shield: Super annoying. You respect that Hank for his good play.
Hank alternating shields between people saving their asses: Super satisfying. Props for all. Epic time.
A monster constantly getting blocked by sunnies shield: Super annoying. You rage at sunny/the game
Sunny’s shieldbot alternating shields between people saving their asses: Wait what happened? I was busy boosting that guy over there.

Reset Carrion Bird counter after successfully getting Dome’d.
Salty reason: You survived the dome, you’ve escaped their grasps and put distance between you and them! Broke line of sight! Went stealth! WAOW THIS IS FUN AND SATISFYING! first thing you eat RNG spawns carrion birds Fuckthisshitwhydidievenbotherstealthing
Potential fix: Reset the Carrion counter after a dome. Hell even allow the first 2 free again. Basically the carrion is there to prevent monsters from staying stealth all game and making it a boring game. If the monster JUST escaped a dome, I think the game is exciting, let’s allow the monster the potential to be stealthy again without alt+F4’ing

I’ll let other’s chime in before I keep novel’ing :stuck_out_tongue:


#5

I don’t act like that at all, I’d ask that you please reread what I wrote and get back to me.
I understand they are busy creating new content. I understand that they DO have some changes coming out to help.
That doesn’t mean that we, as a community, have nothing to offer in terms of experience and feedback.
I’m not saying “PLEASE IMPLEMENT ALL OF THIS” I’m saying “This is what frustrates me in evolve, here are some things I think may help, thanks for your time reading and I hope something constructive came out of this”.


#6

Not you, it’s in response to the guy above my last post.


#7

Ah fair enough, you replied to mine instead of his (the reply button on his post :stuck_out_tongue: ) so I misunderstood :innocent:


#11

Just a friendly reminder, please don’t derail threads with discussion about flags.


#12

I don’t find it offensive either, nor did I flag it; While the spirit of this thread is definitely not to make demands, I do feel he meant it as more of an exclamation than an order… Now back on target please, any comments about these quality of life changes? Any other suggestions?

What makes you the saltiest when playing?


#13

I understand you man… I rage quit at least 5 times per day in Evolve.

One of the biggest problems for me are Randoms.

Everytime I want to play some ranked game (alone) as Hunter I am paired with some Determinig rank, low Bronzes and players who got less then 50 hours in game. SUPER ANNOYING

Possible fix : Ranked will be locked until player hits at least lvl 35 and will have more than 60 hours in game.
Also Silver players should not be paired with low Bronzes or DR. And if so, then if the Silver players (and higher) lost the game, they should lose less points. Also maybe no points at all depending on how many DR, low bronzes they had in team.

And FFS when I have DR and low bronzes in team, dont put us against Silver expert/higher Monster -.-


#14

Hmmm I understand you and the change makes sense, I’d just be hesitant about have less people in ranked atm regardless hah!

Most games do have that level barrier before ranked, so I agree it would be a good change as long as it doesn’t kill ranked; But in my mind you should make the right changes regardless of state…If the changes are right people will come back and have a higher retention, even if it takes time.

On that note I’d also like to see either an estimated time for ranked, or # people in queue (masking low numbers with something like “<50 people currently in queue” would be acceptable giving the circumstances). Add in a disclaimer of how long wait is for other modes if the time is long enough for salt values to rise ;p


#16

Good post.
For me in this order:

  1. Bugs (hire more software engineers please and fire some artists :stuck_out_tongue:, just kidding).
  2. Balance (do you guys really rely on the telemetry for all platforms/skill-groups mashed together?). If possible slightly different dmage numbers for the platforms (more hunter damage on consoles, less on pc).
  3. Frustrating abilities (some good examples are already in your post): Slims sporecloud (its impact is hugely dependent on graphics/monitor and seems to vary a lot for people).
  4. No real incentive for the monster to fight early -> just running is the best option against decent hunters. I really struggle to find a good solution for this one. Perhaps some better reward for the monster to get a strike, like regaining some health ontop of the evolve energy already granted.
  5. Matchmaking seems quite bonkers (the team comps and the points).

#17

You make a very good point about the balance, I kinda didn’t want to get into it too much here because balance is an entire issue of it’s own… But it’s a very good point.
If we stick to a more general view of balance, another point I’d like to make is that ESPECIALLY with this now large array of choices, not every character needs to be viable in competitive, nor every character viable in pubs. Hell that’s the main way you HAVE of balancing pubs vs competitive! If I had my way, I’d rebalance most things with that in mind… New players pick their class to compensate for their playstyle. This leads me to a point that frustrates me so much from my background in game development that many won’t share… But may as well say it meow:

Give characters DISADVANTAGES~~~! Not everyone has to be a super awesome jack of all trades, that’s why it’s a team game with 4 of you! Stick to tried and true tropes!! They are there for a reason, and when you deviate them you aren’t creative, you’re a jerk! (Just kidding about the jerk, but you definitely cause unneeded frustration :stuck_out_tongue: )
Single target heals should do more HPS than AoE heals
Support characters that shield and boost jetpacks shouldn’t also do ridiculous damage
Characters with crutches to compensate for lack of skill (i.e. daisy for those who can’t track stealth) shouldn’t be as strong as other characters.
etc etc etc


#18

I feel like I can add something here as well.

For me (and my friends who abandoned the game because of it), a main frustrating part with Evolve has always been the ‘flee till three’ monster players. All they do is run away until they are stage 3, full armor and with a good elite buff. Until then, they will avoid every confrontation even if they are dome’d. Pretty much every monster but Bob can do this, though he can still mitigate a good amount of damage if he just hides behind his Rock Wall.
Yes there is cutting the monster off, yes there is the chase comp which can do reasonably well VS a running monster, it is safe to say that it is frustrating and tiresome for the hunters. And while I do not play monster myself, I cannot imagine it being fun monster players either.

However, I cannot see a way to fix this problem as it is the most efficient way to play for the monsters if they want to win. There is no reason to fight for them in stage one, unless the hunters are really badly out of position. And even in stage two it is often not worth the health loss to get a strike or two. One can argue that good monsters can still fight very well stage 1-2, but even for them getting to stage 3 without any damage taken is the most efficient route.

Now if we buff the monsters stage 1 power, good monster players will absolutely destroy the hunters if they don’t stick as four together. It forces the hunters to stick close together, prolonging the first search for the monster and thus increasing his chances of getting a free stage 2 without an engagement.

If we buff the hunter’s movement abilities/jetpack, then the monster will have a very hard time escaping from the hunters and thus destroying the awesome ‘war of attrition’ theme the game has.

The perfect solution, in my opinion, would be to do the following things:

-Improve monster’s fighting capabilities for stage 1 and maybe a small amount for stage 2.
-The dome now lasts permanent UNTIL:
-The dome now automatically goes down if the monster has lost 15-20% of his health OR one hunter goes down, doesn’t have to be the trapper.

This is of course as you can imagine, extremely hard to balance (if not impossible) as I’m sure it will cause all kinds of problems on low, medium and high level play for both sides.


#19

I’d rather just suggest having a new hunter that appeals to your friends playstyle, with drawbacks as I’d recommend for ALL hunters.

For you guys it sounds like you’d like a trapper who is weak in all regards except his dome is specialized to have the monster trapped more or forced to fight.
That could mean a trapper who has more domes at some expense (Lower health? lack of mobility? lack of other usefulness?)
OR a trapper who can deploy something in the dome that extends the dome for as long as it’s up. If the monster doesn’t try to come kill it, the dome won’t drop. Again, though, to not be OP he needs some drawbacks as well! Lack of CC? Dome harder to land? shrug
Even if the dome mechanic itself is OP, if you make the trapper shitty in other regards, you can make him not a ‘competitive’ pick…while still being there for the pub play and your friends style where they just want to fight more (Possibly at the cost of less wins :stuck_out_tongue: )


#20

I hate the bugs more than flee till three monsters, Relay Campers. Just ughhhhh. The bugs make me rage quit at times. : /


#21

Yea but then… pubs would ONLY have that trapper :stuck_out_tongue: I know it can be a solution, but it won’t be the end-all for the problem.


#22

I can’t speak to specifics yet but a lot of the issues you bring up are pretty common issues across all levels of play and something we’re working on right now to start fixing. Myself, @LordDeath, @TheGuidance, @GentlemanSquirl and @MacMan have some ideas we’re working out right now that we can hopefully get out to the live game.


#23

For me the single biggest issue, taking in to account all of the “OP hunters” and “OP monsters”, is that people continue to be put in to matches where skill level wildly varies between sides. This would be fine if it was a league and it was accepted that some people are weaker than others, but in general it’s not a league, it’s not a competition. Quickplay, certainly, is the equivalent of a kick about in the park, shooting some hoops with friends. The guy that turns up and is a show off about his skills, rather than toning it down and enjoying the social element of sport with his mates is one that isn’t asked to join in again very often.

Once upon a time I suggested dynamic benefits for hunters or monsters that were under-performing and I still see it as something that could improve the overall experience. I’ve never seen anyone (that wasn’t a dick) complaining about a close game. Complaining about cheese tactics and such, sure, but never a well fought close game.

Note: What I’m talking about here would only be possible in Quickplay, when I first suggested it I made it clear then as I do now… Ranked should be where you go for a fair fight between actually matched individuals. Quickplay, on the other hand, is fair game… it’s just playing the game.

It’s not a simple fix, and like most QoL fixes I’m sure that while it sounds like a simple idea it’s absolutely too complicated to implement… but if you want people to keep playing after picking it up then giving them a boost if they’re a weak sauce monster player, or giving the monster a dynamic nerf if the hunters don’t know how to dodge, it makes the fights seem fairer and makes the result more exciting.

Like I say, not easy, and will offend the sensibilities of anyone that enjoys pub stomping on quickplay (Yes, I don’t understand how you derive fun from wrecking a bunch of randoms, no I don’t care that you think you’re any more right than I am in what “fun” means, lets leave it at that). But I reckon for the majority it would give Evolve a much sweeter taste for players who will see things as within their grasp to do better at next game, rather than feeling that absolutely nothing will work and that the game is “unbalanced”, which it is quite simply not for the large part.

But some specifics:

Kraken: Reduce the pounce distance
Goliath: Allow goliath to break or at least pass through clearly small items when traversing/leaping
Behemoth: As others have said, visualise the rock wall if possible, even if it’s just an arced semi-opaque plane
Griffin: Stop wraith from being able to move so far while harpooned (during abilities mainly)
Hunters: Better “I’m in a reload/unavailable state” visualisations of weapons. Gobi being on my arm and unavailable is torture!
Hunters: The recent suggestion here on the forums to put deployables UI on the screen somewhere somehow and/or give deployables a little floating symbol like with Emets health beacon if possible for hunters only
Emet: Do something to help the respawn beacon not feel like it’s only going to work if the monster is dumb or has already lost so much health they’re probably going to lose just by taking fire to destroy the beacon
Bucket: Some more improvements to vertical movement of the UAV
Monsters: Better indication of whether you’ve downed someone, I find myself getting caught out a lot when thinking I’ve downed someone only for them to be up and without a strike (no laz) shortly after
Monsters: Anything that can be done to stop the monsters feeling sluggish at stage 3, primarily Goliath and his fall speed related I imagine.
Cabot: That dust tag needs some optimisation, it’s the only thing that absolutely screws my FPS in to the ground
UI: Add in what perks everyone has selected on the hunter team for other hunters to see when you tab. The abilities description is great, show what everyone else has as their perk as well!
UI: Did we ever get the option to move the “toasts” to a different corner if we wanted? Was it ever said it can’t be done?
Hunters: Can anything be done about the tediously slow crawl up a cliff face?


#24

That is amazing to hear! Thank you so much for sharing the info. If I can help in anyway let me know.